Scientists have calculated that adult human beings need between 7-9 hours of sleep a night. Most achieve just 6.5 hours. Due to our hectic lifestyles, we are becoming an increasingly sleep-deprived nation, which can lead to a wide range of physical and mental conditions.
However, recent research suggests that the sleeping pills prescribed to many insomniacs are dangerous and use of them should be curbed. This guide by www.essayjedi.com highlights some herbal remedies to help you find a naturally refreshing night’s sleep, without the dangerous side effects.
Calcium and Magnesium
Calcium uses the amino acid tryptophan to help the brain manufacture melatonin. Our calcium levels are highest when we are in REM sleep. This is why children often respond to a glass of warm milk before bed. Magnesium has the same effect and deficiency in these two minerals could be the cause of early waking and restless sleep. Try supplementing with both.
Hops are an ancient remedy for sleeplessness and anxiety and beer drinkers will know that they usually have a sleep after a few pints. Take between 30-130 mg before turning in for the night. You may have to experiment to find the right dosage as it’s very individual.
You may think that wild lettuce is only fit for rabbits but you’d be wrong. It’s known to have a soporific effect on humans who suffer with restless sleep as well as restless legs syndrome. Try taking a supplement of 30-120 mg before bed.
Valerian is a supplement best taken over a period of time, rather than as a one-off emergency measure. It’s known to promote deep sleep, speed of achieving sleep and overall satisfaction with the quality of sleep, but everyone reacts differently. A small number of people find it makes them feel full of energy and they should take Valerian during the day rather than at night. Others can take between 200-800 mg before bed.
There is a reason why Lavender pillows were invented they really do harness the power of the aromatherapy oil and deliver it where it matters. You can either invest in a pillow, or simply dot some lavender oil on to your pillow at night. A fine spray works well too. If you use a good lavender oil it should last a long time and it is a cost-effective way of ensuring a more relaxed sleep.
This is the hormone that controls sleep and you can buy it as a supplement. Studies have shown that lower doses are more effective than high doses and you should use it with caution at high doses. 0.3 to 0.5 mg before bed is a good general guide.
Yoga and Meditation
Relaxation is one of the first things to master if you suffer with insomnia and yes, it is quite a skill and one you can practise. Yoga has long been used as a way of calming the mind and relaxing and combined with simple meditation techniques it can act to calm the ‘chatter’ our minds contend with throughout the day.
This is an amino acid which is found in green tea. Although it promotes ‘calm alertness’ during daylight hours, it also is thought to improve the quality of your sleep during the night. Before you go buying up the entire supermarket stock of green tea, however, you should be aware that it doesn’t contain enough L-theanine to give you the boost you need. You will have to supplement. Try 50-200 mg of a product which contains pure L-theanine.